Frequently asked questions.
And honest answers.

What Areas are you interested in learning more about?

2,350 small to mid-sized dwellings are planned over about 230 acres, creating a walkable, medium-density neighborhood that offers a variety of housing types for buyers with a diversity of budgets. This is far less than the 3,500 units currently contemplated by the City in their land use plans.

In Westminster’s 2020 Community Survey, 68% of respondents said they want a community with distinct neighborhoods. Additionally, 65% said that they want to ensure the City provides ample affordable / workforce housing. Uplands is responding to these citizen priorities by offering a mix of single family detached, single family attached (paired homes and townhomes), and multifamily (condos/apartments) ranging in size and price. Single family homes will be built on smaller, more water-efficient lots with front porches that encourage community interaction and a friendly, walkable neighborhood.

The architectural styles will focus on unique and distinct housing types, all of which will be connected by sidewalks, trails, bikeways, and parks. Initial concepts have been shared with the public and we will be collecting feedback through January 31, 2021 to help guide each future builder with final selections of styles and materials. 

Commercial + Retail

The largest parcel on which Uplands is planned is designated as a traditional mixed-use neighborhood in the City of Westminster’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (see page 38). The land uses that are allowed under the guidance of this policy document include: apartments, condos, lofts, and townhomes; single family residents; offices; personal services; retail commercial; and live/work spaces (see page 48). As the document states, “This designation is intended for inclusive neighborhoods with a mix of residential and supportive non-residential uses in a walkable, pedestrian-oriented, urban village development pattern. Housing types could range from medium and small-lot single family homes to multifamily apartments and lofts. Mixed or non-residential uses could include offices, personal/business services, retail and live/work development. An interconnected grid of streets, pedestrian connections and parks is emphasized.”

A total of about 30,000 SQ FT of non-residential space will be incorporated into the plan for parcel A and situated closer to Federal Blvd. For reference, 30,0000 SQ FT is the average size of a smaller grocery store (think Sprouts versus Safeway). This will be spread out and divided into smaller spaces that can accommodate retail, cafes, personal services, office/work spaces, etc., all of which will be connected to sidewalks and pedestrian corridors making it easy for residents to walk instead of drive.

Additionally, about 47,000 SQ FT of office space is planned for Parcel D.

There’s a strong link between the number of rooftops in a given area and the sustainability of local businesses. The failing or struggling commercial and retail in and around Historic Westminster is due to the fact that there aren’t enough households supporting them. We’ve heard from the owners of Summit Square that they have interest from several prospective tenants, but all of them have said their commitment is dependent on additional rooftops and consumers in the area.

The maximum allowable height is five stories and is only allowed at the intersection of Federal Blvd and 86th Avenue.

Parks + Views

Yes, Uplands is dedicating 40 acres of land to the City of Westminster:  34 acres that will be public parks and 6 acres to specifically protect the best views for all to enjoy. Amenities, design, and use for these parks and spaces will be determined by the City. We encourage you to provide input via our Digital Workshop or you can contact City staff to share your ideas.

Yes, additional Uplands pocket parks will be designed throughout the community as shown here. The public is invited to provide input on design here. These parks will connect to each other and to the city parks through a network of trails and sidewalks. 

These new city parks are centered on the best views the land provides. For example, one park will be located at the top of the Lowell ‘sunset hill’ together with the grove nearby; another on land capturing the Downtown Denver view at 84th and Federal; and other large parks on Parcel A will provide unparalleled views of the Front Range.

Community Agriculture

Uplands’ vision has always included a component of community agriculture to both pay respect to the site’s history and honor the desires of the existing community, which has not had access to this private land in the past. The way in which this would be realized is through a City-led process following the public land dedication. In total, Uplands will dedicate 40 acres of land to the City to be transformed into public parks, plazas, and view corridors. We encourage neighbors to continue to advocate to the City for what they’d like to see on these 40 acres, including community agriculture.

Traffic

Independent traffic engineers have reviewed and worked with the City of Westminster to determine necessary upgrades for the area. Uplands will install additional travel lanes, sidewalks, and intersection improvements including crosswalks, median refuge, lighting, and traffic signal additions and/or improvements. A more detailed review of the newly improved street sections, with sketches, is available in the Landscape Schematic Design Package published December 17, 2020.

Yes, Uplands will build dedicated bike lanes and paths/trails that encourage walking and biking over driving. 

The proposed new design for Lowell Blvd. will provide those who live directly on Lowell the ability to back-up without entering travel lanes. For specific details on this please contact us at info@uplandscolorado.com.  

This question was best answered by City staff during the January 26 & 27, 2021 Neighborhood meetings. You can find this answer below, in addition to answers to all questions asked during those meetings, on the City’s website.
 
“The City has planned to provide water to all remaining developable land in the City, including this property, while maintaining a secure supply for current customers. In addition, the City charges tap fees for each new connection to its water system to help ensure that current customers don’t pay for system changes or additional water supply necessary for the new connection. The biggest threat to the City’s water supply is environmental challenges such as climate change and drought. Conservation measures undertaken by our community is by far the best way we can protect our water supply. Although this is a large project, its impact is far less than drought.”
This question was best answered by City staff during the January 26 & 27, 2021 Neighborhood meetings. You can find this answer below, in addition to answers to all questions asked during those meetings, on the City’s website.
 
“The City is working with Uplands to determine off-site improvements that might be required to increase capacity in the water or sewer pipe, so that the Uplands development is successful and existing rate-payers’ service is not negatively impacted. We are using hydraulic modeling to make these determinations. Uplands will be 100% responsible to pay for off-site improvements to increase capacity. These capacity increases are not part of any Capital Improvements Project.”

No, the City provisionally allocated sufficient water to this project in 2007 and in 2013, the City incorporated the water budget for this new community into the City’s integrated Comprehensive Land Use Plan and City Water Plan. 

The City’s recent water rate increase is due to aging infrastructure that is in need of repair and ongoing maintenance. Information on this is available on the City’s website.

No, but Uplands is making millions of dollars of improvements that benefit new and existing homes, more than paying a fair share of the needed infrastructure investments for Historic Westminster. Additionally, each new homeowner in Uplands will pay a tap fee to help offset the water infrastructure costs shared by all Westminster residents. 

Uplands will help deliver on Westminster’s sustainability targets, which were determined through the City’s two-year community driven process:  economic resilience by expanding opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs, health/wellness through increased grocery options and neighborhood walkability, housing/neighborhood targets by providing greater (and more affordable) housing options, transportation/mobility with new travel lanes, bike lanes and traffic/intersection improvements, natural resources and the environment in added trees, grasses and vegetation that are native and/or water efficient. 

Uplands is following some of the best practices established by leading institutions on health, the environment, and sustainability.

  1. Currently there are no trees on the proposed Uplands parcel other than the grove. Trees will be strategically planted around buildings and along streets, providing shade for surfaces, which can dramatically reduce surface temperatures. The City of Westminster Landscape Regulations include using landscaping to provide benefits to the public, including reduction of heat. Uplands will work with City staff on these details at time of Site Specific Development Plans.

  2. Vegetation that is perennial, native, and/or water efficient will be strategically placed throughout all neighborhoods, tree boulevards, and parks in Uplands. This type of vegetation will help with air quality and noise, in addition to providing tranquil spaces for people to enjoy.

  3. The Uplands land plan follows “smart growth” practices, which also help combat increased heat. These principles include mixed land uses, compact building design, a range of housing types, walkable neighborhoods, and establishing public parks, plazas, and view corridors. 

More homes means a revitalized economy in the local retail centers for potential new grocery stores, and increased demand for existing and new local businesses in the area. 

The millions of dollars invested in the region’s water, sewer, and road infrastructure reduces the financial burden on existing taxpayers and ratepayers.  

40 acres of parks and spaces for viewing the mountains and downtown will be provided with public access to the land that has been private and inaccessible for decades.  

And perhaps the greatest benefit of all will be the addition of new, and improvements to existing, pedestrian walkways, corridors, and crossings that will make it possible to connect to local services in safe and easy ways. 

Timing can vary based on the entitlement process with the City of Westminster and development timing of the land. For 2021 we are focused on obtaining all the necessary approvals from the City. Construction will begin thereafter and will likely span 15-20 years.

Uplands is investing millions of dollars up front for utility system upgrades, roadway improvements, street safety measures, and to address pre-existing stormwater/flooding issues on Shaw Boulevard. These items, along with the installation of miles of pedestrian and biking connections, don’t cost the City or existing residents anything — even though both groups will benefit from these improvements. 

These collective public infrastructure obligations will require Uplands to seek approval for a Metropolitan District to cover a portion of those costs, as contemplated by the City’s Metropolitan District policies for traditional mixed use neighborhood communities (e.g. Bradburn). The City’s policy regarding Metropolitan Districts is to approve them only after an Official Development Plan (ODP) has been approved. At this time, no Metropolitan District documents for Uplands are scheduled for hearings/approvals because the ODP is still pending.

Have a question that wasn't answered here?

We’d be more than happy to answer any questions or address any concerns.

Please reach out to: info@uplandscolorado.com

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